CannaTrials adheres to evidence-based medicine – making statements based on medical evidence.
This page is excerpted and quoted from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. A Committee of over 40 experts, researchers, and reviewers in The Health and Medicine Division published a 486 page report in 2017 entitled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.”
If you would like to access the entire report you may do so by clicking this link.
Medical Marijuana and Social Relationships and Other Social Roles
“There was one systematic review that examined the effects of cannabis on social functioning as one of a number of outcomes in longitudinal studies of general population samples. In their systematic review, Macleod et al. (2004) identified 16 high-quality longitudinal studies of the general population in which the effects of cannabis use on psychosocial outcomes, including social functioning, were examined. The authors found that cannabis use was inconsistently related to social functioning as manifested by antisocial behaviors such as conduct disorder or delinquency, offending, and contact with police. Associations related to an individual’s gender and ethnicity also produced inconsistent findings. Using data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study (n = 1,265), Fergusson et al. (1996) reported that cannabis use at younger ages (<15 years) was consistently associated with antisocial behavior (aOR, 1.0; 95% CI = 0.5–2.1). Interestingly, the use of tobacco and alcohol showed similar associations.
In the systematic review and primary literature, the findings indicate inconsistent relationships between cannabis use and social functioning. The primary literature included studies in which there was a relationship between cannabis use and adverse outcomes such as compromised relationships with authority figures and poorer functioning in social roles such as employment and parenting. Various limitations faced by the primary literature are described on page 282.
Researchers have hypothesized—and some studies have reported— that cannabis use is linked to negative social functioning and the ability to appropriately handle social roles. The relationships among these variables are complex, as are the ways in which the specific variables of interest are measured. In addition, all such research requires the careful consideration of a wide range of control variables that include sociodemographic confounds (e.g., gender/sex, family SES), the use of other substances (alcohol, other illicit drugs), and psychological problems such as depression or a personality disorder (Macleod et al., 2004). This complexity requires that researchers use sophisticated data-analytic techniques (e.g., propensity scoring to reduce selection bias; see Chassin et al., 2010). The use of less sophisticated approaches (e.g., correlations, logistic regression) can lead to an overestimation of the association between cannabis use and negative social outcomes (Macleod et al., 2004).
CONCLUSION 11-4 There is limited evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and impaired social functioning or engagement in developmentally appropriate social roles. “
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